Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and Baked Ziti!

Trick Or Treat!
Preparing for our Candy Gathering Outing
I never payed much attention to Halloween and didn't care for dressing up and engaging in any Halloween Related activities in the past. But as many of you know, once you have kids it OVER. This is a Holidays they wait for from the second first pumpkins of the season appear at the market. My kids have been crossing off each day in October on the calendars in their rooms, strategically planning their approach to October 31.

Given Ben and Lia's level of excitement, my husband and I can't help but give in a bit. Doran even bought himself a mask this year to wear while we take them Trick or Treating (sadly he forgot to actually wear it!). As for me, no costume this time, although painting something clever like a basketball or the road sign "Bump" on my growing belly has crossed my mind. I'd do it but walking around after sundown with belly exposed, with October's evening breeze in the air is making me chilly just thinking about it. Maybe next year.

So I think I'll leave the dressing up to the kids. This time Lia will be a Penguin and Ben a Ninja. Oh let me clarify, a Stealth Ninja to be exact, and you better say it that way or he will most certainly correct you, as this is no ordinary Ninja. I am not sure what makes this Ninja different from the rest (not sure Ben does either), BUT it is crucial he is called that and not just Ninja. Maybe he plans on acting in a Stealth like manner as in being covert and highly secretive in his Ninja ways.....spooky.

My little Penguin Ready for School Halloween Parade
As for my little penguin, she chose the costume based solely on cuteness. I think it may have had something to do with my husband (wanting her to try something different then a super hero 3rd year in a row) telling her that the cuter the costume the more candy she will get! Well let me tell you, the cuteness factor was in full force and we didn't encounter ANY other penguins along the trick or treating trail.

At sundown we embarked on our door knocking, candy gathering baked zitti eating adventure. How baked zitti got in to the mix you may ask? Well seeing that every year a friend or a neighbor or two may stop by, I like to whip up a simple, quick one pot dish for us to enjoy. After all we need stamina and a carbohydrate load to keep up with the little guys.

Halloween Baked Ziti
This year I made a ricotta and mozzarella loaded ziti a recipe for which I found a while back on http://www.allrecipes.com/. Preparing something hearty is my favorite part of Halloween, and seeing the excitement and joy on my kids faces as they dress up and gather mounds of candy is thrilling as well. This is starting to sound an awful lot as though I may like Halloween after all. I guess you have no choice when you're a parent so why not make the best of it!

Happy Halloween Ya'll

Recipe for Baked Ziti (I found this a while back on allrecipes.com)


•1 (16 ounce) package ziti pasta

•24 ounces ricotta cheese

•1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

•1 egg, beaten

•1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

•1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook for 10-12 min until al dente (I like mine a touch over al dente-13min) drain and rinse.

3. In a large bowl, mix ziti, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg and 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce.

4. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and spoon in ziti mixture. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes; let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Spooned Mixture

Before it goes off in the oven.

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